The market for A.J. Burnett last winter was limited because the 37-year-old righthander preferred to play near his Monkton, Md., home. The Phillies offered Burnett $16 million with a limited no-trade clause, and he signed in February.

Burnett has pitched to a 4.08 ERA in 21 starts, which does not make him the best available pitcher. But he will draw interest from a contender looking to bolster the back of its rotation, and two teams make sense: Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

The Orioles and Phillies engaged in "very preliminary" talks, according to a report, which can mean any number of things. (The Phillies have held "very preliminary" talks with every team on every player.) For weeks, Burnett has been connected to Baltimore and Pittsburgh because they are logical destinations.

Pittsburgh may be a better fit.

The Pirates raved about Burnett's effect on their younger pitchers last season. Although his time there ended on a sour note in the postseason, he was welcomed with a standing ovation at PNC Park earlier this month. And there is a need: Gerrit Cole is on the disabled list.